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Standards body gives voice to chipmakers

Posted: 01 Nov 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International? SEMI? Manufacturing Technology Forum? MTF manufacturing standards? Richard Goering?

After putting together hundreds of semiconductor manufacturing standards over the past 33 years, Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) has decided it needs more input from industry. SEMI has thus established the Manufacturing Technology Forum (MTF) to give device and equipment suppliers an early voice in the standards-making process.

SEMI, a global industry association serving providers of equipment, materials and services for IC manufacturing, has had an active international standards program since 1973 but saw a need for improvement, said Bettina Weiss, director of international standards at SEMI.

"We discovered that we had a somewhat major process gap in that early requirements weren't hashed out in a dialogue between the user community and the supplier community early enough," she said. "This was particularly true in the 200mm to 300mm wafer transition."

The MTF, Weiss said, is a new type of SEMI special interest group that will provide the "collective voice of suppliers of materials and equipment early in the game," offering advice on where standards can improve productivity and lower costs. It will have a "two-way communications" channel to the standards program, Weiss said. First, standards volunteers will be able to submit new ideas and projects to the MTF for review. Those might be projects that are controversial, require more research or need a business case validation. Second, the MTF will actively make recommendations to the standards program, identifying top priorities that need to be served.

While the MTF's scope is not limited, the initial focus will be on challenges faced by 300mm wafer fabs. This may include standards around the physical interfaces and carriers that transport wafers through a fab.

SEMI closes 'process gap' in standards. Manufacturing Technology Forum reviews requirements.

Noting that the ISMI plays a large role in MTF, Weiss said the ISMI membership thought such a working group would be a good starting point, since it addresses both device and equipment providers.

- Richard Goering
EE Times

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